Gateway Gazette

Stand Up and be Counted on Trans Mountain

Actions speak louder than words.

That’s the key message Alberta needs to send to the federal government, energy sector investors, and most importantly to oil and gas workers and their families.

With the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline now on life support, we must fight to save this project, which is clearly in the national interest. The project will bring tens of thousands of jobs and generate tens of billions in government revenue – revenue that will fund the vital public services that Alberta families depend on, like heath care and education. After the failure of the Northern Gateway and Energy East projects, Trans Mountain is the last remaining option to get Alberta’s oil to Canadian tidewater.

When it comes to the pipeline debate, Alberta’s opponents are relying on a strategy of ‘death by delay’. We need both the provincial and federal governments to take a leadership role in challenging the absurd rhetoric of fringe militants who seek to obstruct construction by illegal means. We need to cut off the foreign funds that fuel their anti-energy crusade, and put a stop to the absurd delay tactics orchestrated by B.C.’s activist government.

Unfortunately, to date all we’re getting is a lot of talk.

Speaking in the Legislature the day after Kinder Morgan suspended construction of the pipeline, Premier Notley stated, “We will not back down before we get this pipeline built. We stand up for the interests of Albertans.”

Energy Minister Marg McCuaig-Boyd joined in, saying “This is about tens of thousands of jobs for hard-working families, it’s about billions of dollars in investment in our economy, and it’s ultimately about having a better life, with better schools, roads, hospitals, which we owed a lot in previous times to our gas and oil sector.”

Not to be left out, Environment Minister Shannon Phillips said, “It is time for national leadership. Nothing else will do at this point. It’s time for more than talk.”

Sensing an opportunity to convert all this posturing into action, our United Conservative Official Opposition called for an emergency debate on the issue. Requiring just 15 votes to launch the debate, we assumed the Notley Administration would jump at the opportunity. Yet, when the votes were cast, not a single government MLA chose to stand up and be counted.

There are a number of things our province can and should be doing to get Trans Mountain built, but it is getting increasingly difficult to convince our opponents that we are serious about this issue, especially when our government continually fails to back up its increasingly shrill rhetoric.

Actions speak louder and words. It’s time to stand up and be counted.

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